Chromosome fragility in two sheep flocks exposed to dioxins during pasturage.

In the last 3 years several farms raising cattle, river buffalo and sheep have been unable to sell dairy milk due to the presence of high levels of dioxins. Furthermore, several cases of abortion (around 25% of total births) and abnormal foetuses (2.5% of total births) were recorded in two flocks of sheep raised in the province of Naples where a higher level of dioxins (5.27 pg/g fat, as human WHO TCDD equivalent) have been found in the milk mass than that permitted (3.0 pg/g fat, as human WHO TCDD equivalent). Cytogenetic investigations were carried out on 24 sheep (all females), randomly sampled from the two different flocks, one abnormal foetus and 11 female sheep (control) raised approximately 80 km from the area where the two exposed flocks were raised. Frequencies of aneuploid cells, gaps, chromatid breaks, chromosome breaks, fragments and sister chromatid exchange (SCE) were determined. While no differences were observed between the number of aneuploid cells (15% of total cell population) of both exposed animals and controls, significant (P < 0.001) increases in the frequencies of other chromosome abnormalities (mean chromosome abnormality/cell = 0.76 +/- 1.1) and SCEs (mean SCE/cell = 9.4 +/- 3.7) were found in the exposed animals, compared with the control (mean chromosome abnormality/cell = 0.18 +/- 0.4; mean SCE/cell = 7.1 +/- 3.0). Significantly higher values of SCEs (mean SCE/cell = 10.9 +/- 4.4) were also found in the abnormal foetus compared with the control. Chemical analyses on soil, grass and water at two sites where the two flocks were pastured established that doses of dioxins (17 different types) were below the legally permitted limits.
AuthorsL Iannuzzi, A Perucatti, G P Di Meo, F Polimeno, F Ciotola, D Incarnato, V Peretti, A Caputi-Jambrenghi, A Pecoraro, F Manniti, A D'Alessandro, G Vonghia
JournalMutagenesis (Mutagenesis) Vol. 19 Issue 5 Pg. 355-9 (Sep 2004) ISSN: 0267-8357 [Print] England
PMID15388807 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Dioxins
  • Mutagens
  • Aneuploidy
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatids (ultrastructure)
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Chromosomes (drug effects, ultrastructure)
  • Cytogenetics
  • Dioxins
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Maternal Exposure
  • Mutagens
  • Pregnancy
  • Sheep
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange

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